Myths And Facts About Acne
A little knowledge about myths and facts related to acne could help you treat the condition better.
Fact- Though 30% of acne sufferers believe that acne is caused by poor hygiene, it is not true. What looks like dirt is actually an open comedone or a blackhead. Blackheads are nothing but a trapped mixture of sebum, bacteria and excessive oil. When this is exposed to the air, it reacts with the melanin of the skin and turns black. So, the tiny blackhead that you see on your face, is not dirt.
Fact- Baby acne is not as serious a condition as it is made to be. In fact, it is harmless and may not even require treatment. In most cases, the symptoms disappear on their own within a few weeks.
Fact- This is again false. The truth is that baby acne is caused as a result of hormonal changes in the mother while the baby is still in the womb. In some cases, these hormones stimulate the oil glands present in the baby's skin. As a result, the baby ends up having acne.
While baby acne is primarily caused as a result of hormones, it may get further aggravated on exposure to certain irritants. The detergent left in the clothing or bedding is one of the primary irritants. When the baby starts to get hot or active, the flow of blood to the skin increases. This may also intensify the symptoms of baby acne.
Fact- Topical creams and lotions must be applied to the whole face and not just as a spot treatment for zits. Apart from cleaning out the pores, the job of these medications is to reduce the amount of sebum that glands in the skin produce. It is hence a must to apply it to the whole affected area. Both over-the-counter products and prescribed medications work to preventive acne by killing bacteria. So, all such topical solutions are not just a cure for acne but a preventive measure for future outbreaks. However it is important to apply the recommended dose only. Over application may worsen the condition.
Fact- Highly acidic foods can be the main culprit behind acne. So, dairy products like milk, ice cream, cheese, cheddar cheese, goat's milk, margarine and yogurt, are also acne promoters.
Fact- Iodine in no way causes acne. This essential mineral is vital for the functioning of our body. The only harm that iodine can do to acne prone skin is aggravating it further. Any excessive iodine inside the body is released through the skin pores. So, when you have consumed iodine more than you actually should, it is released through the pores of your skin.
Fact- The androgens produced during puberty contribute to your sex drive. And, it is these androgens that are responsible for causing acne, but the amount of sex you have has no correlation, direct or indirect, with your outbreaks of acne.
Fact- Acne cannot be cured, it can only be treated. Even if your blemishes, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, nodules, papules, etc. go away, do not believe that your acne has been cured. If you do not take good care of your skin, they can reappear any time.
Fact- It is commonly believed that if you take oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives, you will have to face an increased chance of pregnancy, as antibiotics decrease the effect of oral contraceptives. A large number of studies have shown that there is no increased chance of pregnancy if you take a combination of oral contraceptives and antibiotics.
Fact- Excessive medication will not help cure acne. Medicines leave your skin dry. This dryness stimulates oil production. And, this excessive oil production leads to plugging of the pores, thus causing acne.
Fact- Over the counter (OTC) treatments can only help in controlling mild acne. If you are suffering from moderate to severe acne then you need to seek medical help.
Fact- This again is not the truth. Today, noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic cosmetics are easily available in the market. Such products do not plug your pores and some of them also contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help in fighting acne. There is no harm in using these products in moderation.
Fact- Almost 70 % acne sufferers wait for a year before they seek medical help. This is not the right approach. The sooner you take action against acne, the sooner you will have a clear face. So, do not wait for it to go on its own, seek medical help immediately!
Fact- This is not true. Acne is not a virus causing flu that has to run its course. Acne has to be cleared out. With a wide variety of acne treatments available on the shelves, why do you want acne to run its course and torture yourself? You need to treat it.
Fact- If the sole reason for you to have started exercising vigorously is to sweat out the dirt from your pores then stop immediately! Strenuous exercising would stimulate oil production. This oil would mix with the sweat, heat and the bacteria present on your skin to cause acne breakouts all over your body.
Fact- Stop believing that washing your face again and again would rid you of acne. Actually, such an action would worsen your condition. Excessive scrubbing with over the counter exfoliants, containing apricot pits or walnut shells will tear and irritate the skin. This increases the chances of infection and ultimately more breakouts. On the other hand, alcohol based toners will remove the necessary oils from your skin and force it to produce even more oil.
Fact- Acne is in no way contagious. You will not get acne if you hug, kiss or sleep with a person who has acne. Neither will you get acne if you share your things with such a person. So, stop outcasting all those people who have acne. You just might be the next one to develop it.
Fact- Tanning does not help cure acne. When you get tanned, your skin becomes dark. This reduces the visibility of acne. And because you can see less of that painfully horrid acne, you feel that you are being cured. In fact, excessive exposure to sun can cause wrinkles and premature ageing.
Fact- Do you see every distressed person suffering from an outbreak of acne? No? So do you still think that acne is a result of stress? Yes, you are thinking right. Acne is not the result of stress. Stress does not directly lead to acne. But, the fact also is that in some cases it has been reported to trigger acne.
Fact- Popping that swell will not help you get rid of acne. In fact, it might worsen your situation. By popping a pimple or acne you will push the bacteria, that causes the pimples, deeper down under the skin. It can also leave permanent scars on your face.
Fact- Scientists all over the world have proven again and again that your diet has no connection whatsoever with the outbreak of acne. In fact, what you eat is your personal decision. Yes, too much of junk food is not healthy as it leads to an upset stomach which may ultimately serve as one of the factors behind acne. A balanced diet surely keeps your blood purified and thus helps you stay away from acne.